How Do You Become a Health Services Manager?

Health Services ManagerOne of the options for professionals interested in pursuing management positions in the medical field to consider is how to become a health services manager. The role of a health services manager requires for future professionals in the field to complete various requirements in education, certifications, and experience.


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The Role of a Health Services Manager

A health services manager is responsible for the decision making and strategic planning that takes place in a hospital, long-term care facility, private medical practice, community organization, government agency or program, and other organizations that are related to medical or health care. Some managers in this area will handle the planning and coordination of policies and procedures for a single department, and others will make decisions in finance, personnel, vision, and goal setting for an entire organization. The ability to effectively lead these organizations requires accumulation of various skills and knowledge.

Education Requirements

In order to qualify for most health services manager positions, candidates will be required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in health services management or a related field. An undergraduate degree in health services management includes completion of course work such as health care research, analysis of health care data, health care information systems, financial management in health care, and ethics and legal issues in the health care industry.

Many positions are also likely to prefer or require a master’s degree in order to qualify for positions at the management level in health services. A graduate degree provides the opportunity to gain advanced skill in each area of health services management, and also often provides options for specializing in a specific area. Some concentrations include medical information systems, finance for health care, health care marketing, and health care policy.

Professional Certifications

Obtaining professional certification through associations related to a field helps a candidate for a position in health services management to illustrate competency in a specific area of the field. One certification particularly helpful for management positions in health services is the Certified Medical Manager designation offered through the Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management. More information on professional certifications for health services management related to financial management in particular can be reviewed at the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management website.

Previous Experience and Skills

In addition to completion of a degree program and a professional certification, prospective health services managers can also begin to fulfill requirements by gaining experience in the field. While completing a degree, for example, an internship in a health services organization or entry level positions in health care administration can help to build the experience required to enter into a management position. This work experience can help professionals to gain skill in analysis, leadership, communication, innovation, and many other areas necessary to be successful as a health services manager.

Related Resource: Healthcare Policy Jobs

The right combination of credentials can help a candidate to prepare for the various responsibilities of a manager in the health services field. To become a health services manager, choosing the right degree and certifications to build on skills and experience will be beneficial for pursuing positions in hospitals, community organizations, government agencies, and provide medical care facilities and offices.